Learning - Holy Trinity, Prestwood

At Holy Trinity we believe that Church should be a place of encounter, where we engage with the issues and challenges of modern life.
Whether you’re a regular member or an occasional visitor, one of the ways you can get more involved is by learning with us. As well as listening to the teaching in the sermon each Sunday, you could also join one of our popular courses.

What kind of courses do we run?

Throughout the year we run a varied programme of courses, groups and workshops to give us all an opportunity to deepen our understanding of God and our Christian faith, and to reflect on our lives, our world and our relationships with others. We want them to be interesting, varied, stimulating and fun.
For example, two groups recently met at Holy Trinity for five weeks to explore The Big Questions—Who is God? What is the Bible? Who are we? What is life about? The programme to date also includes Confirmation classes for adults and young people.

We also keep an eye on the many other things happening locally which people might be interested in, for instance at the Pelagos Centre. We also organise quiet days and mini-retreats from time to time.

Is it for you?

Anyone can come along - you don’t need any special knowledge or qualifications, just a willingness to contribute to the group and to engage with and explore the big questions about life and faith.
Some courses are specifically targeted (e.g. for those enquiring about the Christian faith), and some will have limited places—usually because they’re taking place in somebody’s home.
We always encourage people to book a place on a course, or find out more.

What happens?

There is no single format, but often meetings last about an hour with a mix of teaching and discussion.
Some courses are written and delivered by our own clergy and Education Group, while others follow a book or series of video clips (such as the 10-week Beta Course, on being Christian, becoming whole, and building community).
Everyone brings their own varied stories and experiences, so the emphasis is less on telling you the answers, than on exploring the questions together.

What does it lead to?

Our courses aren’t meant to be training or preparation for anything specific—so you’re not committing to anything beyond the meetings themselves. However, for some people this learning and exploration can lead to an explicit commitment of faith (through baptism or confirmation) or to thinking about other ways of getting involved at Holy Trinity and putting their faith into action.

How can I find out more?

The details of all our courses are in the weekly notice sheet or on the website, or send us an email.

Have the information to make informed choices about end of life issues. Finity are hosting 6 workshops to consider issues relating to dying, death and loss. Subjects include:
• Administration and how to plan ahead
• The process of dying
• Choices for care
• Talking with family and friends
• Funerals
• Bereavement
Everyone welcome. For information and to register, contact: Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Telephone: 01494 866613 or website: www.finity.org.uk.
Finity is a local community group, led by Dr Jo Withers. Finity's aim is to support and encourage people in the area to consider their end of life choices, to make plans and to communicate their wishes to those who support them.

 

Four months before the name of the new Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was publicly announced, Andrew Atherstone was commissioned to write this autobiography. It makes very interesting reading, and I recommend it.

His parents divorced when he very young and he was brought up by his father and grand-parents, went to Eton, and then to Cambridge where he converted to Christianity, along with several close friends. He joined an oil company and was promoted rapidly to become the company Treasurer. He and his wife went to an evangelical church in London and he first thought of ordination in 1987, and was eventually recommended for it in 1988; he then faced a drop in salary from £100,000 a year to about £10,000.

After his curacy he was appointed Rector of Southam in Warwickshire. He made his first visit to Africa in 1996, and this was followed by many more over the years, particularly involved in resolving conflicts, often at risk of physical harm. He was made a Canon of Coventry Cathedral in 2003, also travelling in the Middle East and Africa, and then became more involved in the domestic side of Coventry ministry. In 2007 he became Dean at Liverpool Cathedral, a huge building where he encouraged the introduction of worship in many different styles, and outreach to those outside the church. Then Archbishop Rowan Williams asked him to seek resolution of various issues among the international church, including issues in Africa and the USA. Three years later, in 2011 he was named as the next Bishop of Durham. In this relatively poor area, following decline of local industries, he was faced with problems relating to funding of the diocese, and he proposed changes to the traditional Parish Share, imposed from above, and he encouraged evangelism. He was still involved abroad, facing personal violence in Nigeria and heated argument in the USA on pastoral matters.

I reserved this book from the public library – it is not very long at 145 pages, but I found it encouraging that someone of Justin Welby’s background and enthusiasm should have been chosen for this huge role.

John Wiles

We are putting groups together for children who want explore First Communion and/or Confirmation this Autumn. 

As you'd expect, the groups we will be running will be relaxed, informal and fun. We intend to run them on a Sunday afternoon over the next few weeks at Holy Trinity.

Bishop Alan is coming to Holy Trinity, Prestwood on the morning of November 5th, and that's when we will have the confirmations and admit children to Holy Communion.

What's the difference between First Communion and Confirmation?

Well, essentially, we think that from the age of about eight, most children are able to grasp what is going on in a communion service and take part in it—at least as well as any of us do. It's a great age for being inquisitive, for thinking about why Jesus is special and why we should do the things he asks us to do. Things such as love your neighbour, do to others as you would have them do to you, and remember Jesus when we share bread and wine in this special way. The questions they come up with at this age are really valuable, as they start to make connections between love and sacrifice, and begin to make moral judgments. And for many children this gives them a way in to thinking about good and evil, life and death, and other big questions that are beginning to impinge on their consciousness.

For some families, confirmation has traditionally been the gateway to taking communion. It can be, but it need not be so. Confirmation is about taking responsibility for your own spiritual and moral life. It's about becoming a member of the Church of England, and sharing in the life of our church. It's usually undertaken by children approaching their teenage years, and the hope is that it gives them a reference point and a guide by which they can test their responses to the increasing range of choices being presented to them—some of which can seem very attractive, but can conceal dangers. In a world increasingly dominated by the pressures of social media, the pressure to excel, and the need to separate your private feelings from your public face we hope to give our young people a sense of integrity, an ability to make good decisions about themselves and to follow Jesus by having the courage to ask the right questions in the face of the pressure to conform. It's not about teaching a prescriptive or abstemious morality, but about equipping our young people with the good news of the gospel so they can make their own decisions.

The dates we are looking at for the preparation groups are

First Communion Groups: Sept 24, Oct 8, Oct 15, and one other session after November 5.

Confirmation Groups for young people: Sunday 17 Sept 3.30-4.30pm, Sunday 8 Oct 3.30-4.30pm, Saturday 14 Oct 3-4pm.

Confirmation Groups for adults: Please contact the Rector.

Each session will last an hour in total.

The Confirmation and Admission to First Communion service will be on Sunday, November 5th at 9.30 am.

There's no compunction to go through with it(!)—it's a chance to think. We realise not everyone will be able to make every session, and we'll provide resources for you as well.

If you want to sign up, are interested in finding out more, or have any questions please contact the Rector.

Holy Trinity, Prestwood is an Inclusive Church. We are part of the Church of England.
We are in the Oxford diocese and the Wendover Deanery.

The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of Holy Trinity, Prestwood is a registered charity, no. 1129233.

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